BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps, has been arrested for driving under the influence. It happened overnight right here in Baltimore after Maryland Transportation Authority police stopped him for speeding.
Derek Valcourt has details on the arrest.
MDTA police confirm the 29-year-old swimming superstar was arrested around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday.
After an officer’s radar clocked a 2014 white Land Rover on I-395 south going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone, the officer followed the car onto I-95 north and pulled it over just as it passed the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza.
Police say Phelps was at the wheel and appeared to be under the influence. He was unable to perform satisfactorily on a series of field sobriety tests and was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines within the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 in Baltimore. He was later released.
MDTA police say Phelps was cooperative throughout his arrest.
On Tuesday afternoon, Phelps released a statement via Twitter, saying “Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines. I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not have much meaning right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
This makes the second DUI arrest for the Baltimore Bullet.
Ten years ago, Phelps found himself in a similar situation.
The then 19-year-old swimmer was stopped near Salisbury University after running a stop sign. Salisbury Police charged him with DUI, DWI, violation of a license restriction and failure to obey a stop sign.
In that case, he took a plea deal, agreeing to 18 months of probation and to speak at schools about his mistake.
“I have already learned from this experience and will pass this along to others who even think about making the same mistake that I made,” Phelps said in 2004.
When a photo of Phelps smoking from a bong at a college party surfaced in 2009, he faced no charges but was briefly suspended from USA Swimming and lost one sponsor.
This time around, Phelps faces several charges.
Teammate Ryan Lochte commented on Phelps’ arrest, telling TMZ that he should have hired a driver.
“He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. Just stinks for the sport of swimming,” Lochte said to TMZ.
It’s been an interesting month for Baltimore athletes as the Ravens faced national criticism for how they handled former player Ray Rice’s domestic dispute with his then fiancee, Janay, in an Atlantic City casino. After video obtained by TMZ showing Rice punch her in an elevator was made public, the NFL indefinitely suspended him.
Orioles slugger Chris Davis also made headlines recently as he was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for Adderall, a prescription drug that contains amphetamine.
Phelps has been training again for competitive swimming but has not confirmed whether he will compete in the 2016 Olympics.
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